President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday expressed deep concern about the effect of corruption on the nation’s well-being.
He said corruption was the major factor responsible for the suffering of millions of Nigerians.
President Buhari noted that corruption at all levels was the biggest problem impeding Nigeria’s economic growth and development.
The President spoke at the 49th annual accountant conference with the theme: Building Nigeria for Sustainable Growth and Development.
It was organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
“I urge you now to always see corruption in its true colour as a gross violation of human rights. Corruption is the major reason why millions of our people are in hardship, sick and helpless,” the President said.
President Buhari said it prevents good governance and encourage misappropriation of public funds, stiffens innovation, infrastructure development and investments.
Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, the President said: “Our fight against corruption is in reality a struggle for nation building and the future.
“Corruption and impunity becomes widespread when accountability is disregarded.
“Disrespect for accountability also strives when people get away with all manner of questionable things and accountants are unable to check them.
“Corruption is the major reason why many children cannot go to school, why we have few equipment and doctors in our hospitals.
“Corruption diverts public resources thereby causing much suffering, deprivation and unnecessary death in the country.
“Therefore, if we do not slay corruption with the passion it deserves, we will not get the result that we need.”
President Buhari reiterated that his administration was committed towards achieving structural economic change and a more diversified and inclusive economy.
He said it was for this reason he signed many executive orders to improve the business conditions in the country.
“We signed the Executive Order 7 of 2019 on Road Infrastructure Development and Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit Scheme.”
“This Executive Order aims to accelerate road infrastructure development for a balanced economic growth in Nigeria by granting approvals to private sector entities to construct and rehabilitate eligible roads across the country.
“This is in exchange for tax credits which will be applied against their company income tax.
“The motivation for the scheme comes from the desire to take advantage of private sector funding to road development in our country,” he said.
Also, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, urged Nigerians to join the fight against corruption.
Magu said the anti-corruption fight could not be won if it was left alone to the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies.
ICAN President Nnamdi Okwuadigbo pledged the institute’s commitment to facilitating economic growth and development in the country.
“Now is the time to redeem our image in the comity of nations. We cannot afford to fail as the largest economy in Africa.
“As chartered accountants, we are at a vantage position to determine the effective use of public funds and we charge you to be front-runners in the fight against corruption,” he said.